Zack Conroy
Don't go there!
by Mike
For the Week of December 6, 2010
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The week of December 6, 2010
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To hear Oliver tell it, he and Hope were up there with Bogey and Bacall, or at least Brangelina. Oliver, you were with Hope for about five minutes, and, accident or not, you boinked her mother!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did everyone go all Dr. Phil about your relationship? Did you pine for your ex so much a grove sprung up in your backyard? Did you start dusting off your merry-go-round? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Is it just me, or was B&B going at a pretty good clip there, but now has ground to a halt? I'm not sure what The Powers That Bell have in mind, but this week left me feeling like I already got coal in my Christmas stocking. Let's Scoop about it!

Only two storylines dominated -- The World According To Taylor and Oliver Wants Hope Back. Sandwiched between was a brief appearance by Stephen "Remember Me?" Logan. It was refreshing to see him, but the visit felt contrived considering we haven't seen Stephen for several months. And when we did, he was trying to romance Pam into shooting Stephanie. Now, apparently, Stephen and Pam are the real thing. And only now, after seven months, Stephen sees to dead Beth's things! I don't mean to nit-pick, but this is largely what's wrong with B&B these days -- they push storylines on us to the point of overexposure, then drop them. It's a pacing thing. All soaps are guilty of it these days, I suspect. But this is the one I watch.

Stephen's quickie reunion with his daughters wasn't enough to compensate for the fact that Oliver was on my screen every single day this week. To hear Oliver tell it, he and Hope were up there with Bogey and Bacall. Or at least Brangelina. But really, Oliver -- "All the dreams we had"? You were with Hope for about five minutes! And when you rightly point out that Hope isn't with you because she doesn't feel safe with you, what more do you need? Accident or not, you boinked her mother! Who's going to feel safe with you after that?

At least Oliver realizes he can't get Hope back with any kind of trickery, such as Amber's limo stunt. This is a complete one-eighty from the vow he made months ago to Steffy that he'd do anything to get Hope back. Still, integrity is always a lot more appealing than subterfuge. It even seems Amber is starting to get that clue. I suppose Amber does owe Oliver for stealing the designs, but, for my money, despite Amber trying to pave the way for an Oliver/Hope reunion, it looks like Amber is falling for young Mr. Jones herself. For real. Wouldn't that rather stick in Aggie's craw?

It would be a lot more interesting than this current gambit to involve the entire cast in Oliver and Hope's not-relationship. Now Aggie has to get into the mix. Sure, she's Oliver's sister. But really -- was Sarah Joy Brown brought on to play crossing guard to the junior set? Aggie's not had a thing of any importance to do since her rapist was brought to justice, which is a waste of talent. The Aggie/Nick pairing has failed to inspire viewers, and watching Aggie bewail her loss of trust in Amber after their blink-and-you-missed-it off-screen friendship isn't helping. Oliver's right -- keeping Amber around is his business and his decision, not to mention the first smart thing he's said in ages.

The reason this storyline doesn't work is because Hope and Oliver were thrown together -- and pulled apart -- so quickly, and they never had much chemistry to begin with. So all this time and energy spent on whether or not they reunite seems to me a misuse of film. Hope made her choice to be with Liam, and I don't find her torn about that decision at all, even though they're suddenly trying to cast Liam as being too busy for her despite the fact they'd been Siamese twins from the moment they met. Let Liam and Hope be together, and let's see what happens by putting Oliver and Amber together -- he just might be the one to remind her that she wasn't always the bad girl she's constantly scripted as.

But no, now there's a new player in the Oliver/Hope game -- and it's Dollar Bill! Admittedly, that man adds fire and intrigue to any scene he's in -- his brief musings on meditation was the best bit all week. But, as with Sarah Joy Brown, Don Diamont is way better than this material. If I knew Bill was there to actually defend Liam, I'd feel better about it. But since Bill has already made it clear he thinks Liam should be playing the field, Bill can only be there to get Oliver to take Hope out of the equation. Good thing Father's Day isn't for another six months. And Katie is going to bitch-slap the hell out of Mr. Spencer when she finds out!

Meanwhile, the homeless storyline has been reduced to mere mentions by Hope and Marcus, and a brief reminder by Queen Stephanie herself. Granted, B&B can't address it too often without sounding like an infomercial, but these off-screen tattlings ring very hollow. The first go-round in 1991 worked because we saw Stephanie living on the street and interacting with those less fortunate. We need the human drama to make a connection, not pretty speeches by Hope. We almost had that in Dayzee, who really needs to be developed more. Otherwise Stephanie's whole experience becomes a one-off attempt to shock and spike up ratings -- and I know that wasn't the intention of the story.

Speaking of go-rounds -- and oh, Lord, don't let it be -- what is up with this sudden hint at reuniting Ridge and Taylor? All right, I know -- there are lots of you out there who would prefer that to be the case. But whether you'd rather Ridge were with Brooke or Taylor, I'm sure we can all agree that what we don't need is another ride on this merry-go-round. It's been done to death. I say leave Ridge with Brooke and be done with it.

Instead, B&B seems to be skating on very thin ice, teasing us with the two-headed monster of a story that the show really has no business telling. Everything seems to be dependent on whether or not Brooke gets it on with Thomas. Now, what would be the point in actually going there? It would completely and permanently destroy the character of Brooke. Like, forever. Love her or hate her, Brooke is a legacy character and one that will become even more important once Stephanie and Eric are off the canvas. B&B cannot afford to turn more viewers off to her. And it's especially dismaying considering the newfound Brooke/Stephanie friendship -- the best thing the show has going right now -- is suffering under this ludicrous story arc.

I never thought I'd say this, but when Steffy comes back, I hope she goes around Forrester smacking some sense into her family. Thomas says he has no interest in Brooke, yet he keeps staring at Brooke's picture. Why else would Thomas have even thought to kiss Brooke on the runway in the first place? Taylor's become a total loose cannon, and now Ridge is giving Taylor ideas about reuniting. When I think of Felicia and Thorne imprisoned on the backburner while we're made to sit through this...!

What exactly was Ridge smoking when he had that talk with Taylor? I completely understand that Ridge would want to leave Brooke if she triggered another scandal, especially if it involved her bumpin' uglies with his son. No one could fault him for that. But to suggest that he'd go running back to Taylor? I'm hoping that all he meant by his "running to safety...straight to you" comment was simply a desire to be around a platonic someone he could trust in such a disaster. And that Taylor misunderstood it. Given how many times Ridge has waffled between Brooke and Taylor, though, I can't help being on high alert. How fickle is that of Ridge, anyway? To say nothing of the fact that this time, Taylor is married!

Not that it seems to matter to Taylor. And this is something I knew ever since her instant wedding to Whip back in April -- Taylor still wants Ridge. Whip sensed it, too -- and now his suspicions have been confirmed. Really, Whip and Taylor had the potential to become such a wonderful soap couple, but their pairing was rushed together and then completely unexplored -- exactly what I was saying before about B&B pushing story and then dropping it. Now Taylor is like a 16-year-old girl on her Princess phone, gushing to Stephanie and basically saying that Ridge will be hers again. Even Stephanie was dubious! Kudos to someone that Stephanie is still willing to give Brooke a chance.

I was pretty hard on Taylor in my last Scoop, so I will counter that by saying at least Taylor was more balanced this week. She may have freaked out on Thomas when she thought he was kissing Brooke, but she did finally own that she was overreacting, and that maybe gifting Steffy with her 25% of Forreseter stock had hurt Thomas. Yet (and you knew there'd be one)...don't any of you feel like maybe Taylor is drinking again, and it just hasn't been revealed? Think about it: she's paranoid, she's hallucinating (nice special effects with the mirror!), she's painting herself as a victim, and her conclusion that she was losing Stephanie to Brooke was beyond childish.

It would make sense, wouldn't it? She's still grieving Phoebe (which may be the only honest motivation behind Taylor's behavior the last couple of years), and she never has gotten over Ridge. Alcoholism is a serious disease and I'm not trying to make light of it, but finding out that Taylor's knocking 'em back again is about the only thing that could make me feel sympathetic right now toward our "Doc." Taylor's instinct as a doctor is that Brooke can't help behaving inappropriately with men? Taylor may not be entirely wrong issuing that diagnosis, but more and more I'm feeling that Taylor could do with logging some hours on the psychiatrist's couch herself. Oh, James, where are you? Our girl is "not at t'all well!"

And it isn't just my opinion anymore:

• "Can the writer of B&B stop painting Taylor Forrester black? This is not the Taylor we used to know. Now it seems she's bad and Brooke's good. The real Taylor doesn't nag, she keeps Brooke in her place which makes Brooke run to her for professional advice. She doesn't fight for things; she's lovely and gentle. What's this new, useless character. It's totally out of place!" -- Angel

• "Taylor KILLED someone, and everyone seems to have forgotten that. She blew off her son Jack because Brooke helped her have him. She slept with Brooke's son. Amazing what the Brooke haters seem to forget. Just leave Brooke alone for a while and don't screw up the storyline of her helping Stephanie. It's more important than this stupid story that someone should be fired for." -- Loren

• "Are we supposed to believe that Taylor flips out that Thomas kissed Brooke as a publicity stunt? Yet her younger daughter Steffy runs around kissing, trying to kiss, trying to seduce and blackmail random men, and Taylor doesn't do anything to reel her daughter in. She knows Steffy went after the married Owen, then the married Bill, then the committed Oliver, now the sudden heir Liam. Steffy also blackmailed Brooke and Oliver and tortured Hope, but Thomas kissing Brooke in a publicity stunt warrants a flip-out from Taylor. Taylor, Steffy, and Thomas are all nut jobs. In a few weeks the nut job Steffy will be back! Oh joy!! Not!!" -- Monique

• "It's wonderful to see Brooke and Ridge battle the scandals together. It is becoming a little unrealistic to see Brooke always painted as the scarlet woman! She has a wonderful side to her that the writers always mess with and she has to struggle to keep her dignity in place. Why always write her that way? It breaks my heart to see her at the heart of every scandal. Just when she and Stephanie have mended the past hurts. This curve ball (in the form of Thomas) comes along and has spoilt all that has happened between the two. Give Brooke a break. Aren't there other characters to pick on?" -- Michelle

• "Is it just me or is this show all over the map? They keep starting stories that never go anywhere. Bridget is out after proclaiming her feelings for Owen -- I hate that storyline, but some resolution would be nice. Amber adds nothing to the show. Brooke is predictable -- we know she's going to end up in Thomas' bed, so no surprise there. Then we have Taylor, who sounds like she needs a shrink or a padded cell most of the time. What happened to her character? And PLEASE don't make her chase Ridge anymore. I love her with Whip and it's so refreshing to see another man in her life. But the WORST storyline of all has to be this idiotic back and forth with Hope/Liam/Oliver. Oliver is just plain creepy and if someone stalked me like he does Hope, I'd report him to the police. [Hope] is so in love with Liam (didn't take long did it), yet she is ready to do the deed with Oliver the minute Liam is late to a party. Come on. It's getting boring watching her flit back and forth between the two. Send her off to school...enough is enough." -- Kathy

No, Kathy -- it's not just you. I was thinking the same thing. It seems suddenly that B&B is adrift on the water. I find that especially disappointing after the show rose out of mediocrity by having Stephanie and Brooke bond over Stephanie's cancer. I guess all shows go through their highs and lows -- I just wish B&B had stayed high longer than a couple of weeks! Seriously, B&B, about this Brooke and Thomas thing -- don't go there. Maybe you're just teasing us with that possibility as a way to get a reaction out of us fans...or maybe you're about to make a mistake that you might not be able to come back from. This is not the time to alienate viewers you need to keep yourselves on the air! ATWT, anyone?

Now, some other points to ponder: So Donna and Pam were both in Paris to see Stephen? Seems B&B won't stop throwing those ladies together, even off-screen...Why spend a whole episode playing it up like Oliver was going to kick Amber out, only to give her a key to a sudden apartment over the garage? It was hardly worth the suspense...How exactly was Liam able to drag Hope away from a photo shoot? That's business, and a lot of money was spent setting it up. To say nothing of blowing off his own job to play hooky with Hope; you'd think Bill would be taking Liam to task for that instead of wasting time and resources investigating a limo driver...

All this fuss over Oliver's first photo shoot getting interrupted -- he's a DJ! Since when does he have aspirations to be a photographer? ... Why does everyone refer to the stolen designs as Hope's? The line might be named after Hope, but Eric and Ridge created the designs. ... Relieved after realizing it wasn't Brooke kissing Thomas, Taylor threw her arms around her shirtless son. Was anyone else kind of skeeved out by that? ... Interesting that Amber mentioned not forgetting a first love just after mentioning Rick -- and doubly interesting that Hope and Amber discussed Amber's involvement with Hope's bio-dad Deacon. Both story points are rooted in history and would be much more worth exploring than what Amber's got going on now.

How would you make B&B better? I know I'm not the only one with thoughts on that -- speculate about it and more on the Soap Central message boards! And you can add to the Scoop if you've got comments on this column -- maybe you'll see them as part of a future column. Maybe not all is lost -- I hear tell CJ is coming back for a couple of episodes later this month! Oh, B&B, keep him keep him keep him! In the meantime, someone better call Darth Vader, because I think our Mr. Whipple Jones is about to take a little trip to the dark side -- so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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